A classic Japanese croquette recipe gets a festive twist in my recipe for Turkey Croquettes with Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce. These two to three bite croquettes is a great first course to serve with a green salad or on their own as festive hors d’oeuvres. Read on down below to learn more about this delicious recipe and how to make it at home!
What are Croquettes?
There are many different types of croquettes from all over the world, but this recipe is most reminiscent of Japanese croquettes. These croquettes are typically made with a potato base, ground meat (typically beef or pork), and sometimes vegetables such as onions and carrots. Breading the potato croquettes in a flour, egg, and Panko breadcrumbs before frying really make this recipe a super special treat. Japanese croquettes are typically served with rice and vegetables on the side, and sometimes with sauces such as tonkatsu sauce or a nice Japanese curry.
I made some minor adjustments to make this recipe perfect for the holidays. I still opted to use a potato base (made with BC Yukon Gold Potatoes) but swapped out the ground beef/pork for ground turkey. Since turkey is a bit on the bland side, I added in some onions as well to add a bit more flavour to the croquettes. I made the croquette patties slightly smaller as well to make them the perfect appetizer size for the holidays!
I really enjoy making this recipe since you need very little meat (or you can just swap out the meat for vegetables). Plus, if you do use meat, it gets fully cooked in a frying pan before it is combined into the potatoes and formed into patties. This gives me so much piece of mind when frying them, since frying is just to get the croquettes crispy and golden brown.
Making Homemade Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce
Another festive swap that I made for this recipe was to make a Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce to pair with these croquettes. A traditional tonkatsu sauce uses a combination of tomato ketchup, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and some sugar. The tonkatsu sauce is sweet, tangy and slightly smoky and goes great on croquettes…and just about anything else!
I make this Cranberry Tonkatsu sauce just like I make cranberry sauce. I add some fresh cranberries to a small pot along with water, sugar, ketchup, and oyster sauce and mix to combine. Once the cranberries begin to pop and the sauce thickens up, I remove it from the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce. Adding the Worcestershire sauce at the end helps the smoky flavour to stay in the sauce and not cook out.
Overall, the addition of fresh cranberries to this sauce really makes it special for the holidays. It has a great tang which cuts through the fried croquettes, and compliments the Evolve Spontaneity wine so well! This wine is a blend of 50% Pinot Gris, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Ortega grapes and has a light and fruity flavour with a slightly sweet finish. It is definitely a new favourite and I can see myself enjoying this wine throughout the holiday season!
Get the Recipe!
Turkey Croquettes with Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce
For the Croquettes:
- 700 g Yukon gold potatoes about 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 cups water for boiling
- 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 300 g ground turkey
- ½ cup yellow onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves for garnish
- ¼ cup whole cranberries for garnish
For the Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce:
- 1 cup fresh cranberries or frozen
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup tomato ketchup
- 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
For Breading & Frying:
- ½ cup flour
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 1 ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
- Place the peeled and cut potatoes in a medium-sized pot. Add 6 cups of water to cover the potatoes fully along with 1 tablespoon of salt. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let the potatoes cook for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Once the potatoes are fully cooked, drain the water and use a potato ricer (or potato masher) to mash the potatoes. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
- Next, heat a large frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the ground turkey meat and onion. Season the meat mixture with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and the ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the meat mixture for 15 minutes, or until fully cooked, breaking up the turkey into small pieces.
- Add the meat mixture into the mashed potatoes. Use a large spoon to mix until fully combined.
- Place the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil on a large dinner plate. Use your hands to spread the oil all over the plate so that the croquettes do not stick. Set aside.
- While the potato and meat mixture is still warm, form the croquettes. Scoop 3 tablespoons of the mixture into your hands and form into oval-shaped patties that are 1-cm in thickness. Place the croquettes on the oiled plate and continue this process for the rest of the mixture.
- Place the plate of croquettes in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool and firm up. This will help with breading and frying later on.
For the Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce:
- In the meantime, make the Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce. Place the cranberries, water, ketchup, sugar and oyster sauce into a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the cranberries have all burst and the cranberry sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce and mix through at the very end before removing from the heat. Set aside.
To Bread & Fry:
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- While the oil is heating up, bread the croquettes by coating them in flour, followed by the egg, and then the Panko breadcrumbs. Repeat this breading process until all the croquettes have been breaded.
- Once the oil has reached 350 degrees F, fry the croquettes. Carefully place the breaded croquettes into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Work in batches of 3 or 4 so that the oil temperature does not lower too quick.
- Drain the cooked croquettes on a plate lined with paper towel and continue this process for the rest of the croquettes.
- Place the warm croquettes on a serving platter and top each one with a teaspoon of the Cranberry Tonkatsu Sauce. Garnish with extra whole cranberries and a sprig of parsley. Serve warm with a glass of chilled Evolve Spontaneity white wine and enjoy!